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Passenger body ire over Rly Ministry apathy

By Correspondent

RANGIYA, March 14 � The Assam Rail Passengers� Association (ARPA) has expressed concern over the move of the Railway Ministry to incorporate Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains under NFR zone and termed it a betrayal of the State�s people.

The body in a realese to the press, expressing its genuine concern about the fellow passengers of the State, stated ARPA, since 2004 has been pursuing the authority concerned to start 1400 horse power DEMU type train service in the State, coupled with facilities to run both ways without changing its separate diesel- electric operated engines located at the ends, with 96 berth capacity in each coach, and 100 km per hour speed.

Hearing, its continuous pleas and prayers, former chairman of the permanent railway committee Basudev Acharya subsequently asked the NFR authority to submit proposals to the Rail Board in this connection for taking necessary steps. Similarly, NFR, with its HQ in this State, has several times written to the Rail Board, New Delhi, 2005 last to take action.

NFR, as per, secretary of ARPA Dipankar Sarma, vide its official letter no-T/240/15 Pt II dated 14-7-2006, proposed for eight such trains so as to facilitate the State passengers and also looking into the commercial aspects and revenue earnings from the same in different sections under the NFR zone. In this connection, the NFR authority asked for 2 DEMU trains in New Bongaigaon-Rangiya-Guwahati stretch, 2 in Nagaon-Guwahati stretch, 1 in Lumding-Guwahati, 1 in New Bongaigon-Alipurduar stretch, 1 in Goalpara-Guwahati stretch, besides 1 such train as extra on this route keeping the feasibility aspects. Even, after, six years since the communication continued from NFR authority, finally Rail Board, New Delhi approved 3 DEMU trains in the NFR zone, having jurisdiction upto parts of Bengal and Bihar.

The Railway Ministry, hearing the long urged plea , although has included to run DEMU trains under NFR jurisdictional map, has turned a blind eye and shown an apathetic attitude to the State people deciding to run the said trains under Katihar-Malda-Balurghat and Malda-New Kochbihar rail stretch.

Ironically, the said areas/rail stretches although fall under the NFR zone, but are far from the State, and the resumption of DEMU service from there in no way would facilitate or benefit our State people, ARPA secretary stated, pointing to the sheer apathy and betrayal to the State by both Indian Railways and Rail Ministry at the Centre. It further stated, citing an ironical incident when the first train (train no-14970) mistakenly reached the Changsari railway station, and immediately it was returned to Siliguri.

However, in the recently announced Union Rail Budget, no provision of DEMU trains in the State was seen. ARPA has placed its fervent pleas before the Rail Ministry to review its decision and to continue DEMU train service as originally proposed by NFR to the Rail Board covering significant stretches in the State.

Further, the State rail passenger body has urged the concerned authority to curtail some portions of North Bengal and Bihar and shift to South East Railway, and Eastern Railway having HQ in West Bengal, so as to facilitate zone wise effective service and to stop the flow of schemes/ funds meant for NFR to parts of neighbouring States of West Bengal and Bihar.

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Passenger body ire over Rly Ministry apathy

RANGIYA, March 14 � The Assam Rail Passengers� Association (ARPA) has expressed concern over the move of the Railway Ministry to incorporate Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains under NFR zone and termed it a betrayal of the State�s people.

The body in a realese to the press, expressing its genuine concern about the fellow passengers of the State, stated ARPA, since 2004 has been pursuing the authority concerned to start 1400 horse power DEMU type train service in the State, coupled with facilities to run both ways without changing its separate diesel- electric operated engines located at the ends, with 96 berth capacity in each coach, and 100 km per hour speed.

Hearing, its continuous pleas and prayers, former chairman of the permanent railway committee Basudev Acharya subsequently asked the NFR authority to submit proposals to the Rail Board in this connection for taking necessary steps. Similarly, NFR, with its HQ in this State, has several times written to the Rail Board, New Delhi, 2005 last to take action.

NFR, as per, secretary of ARPA Dipankar Sarma, vide its official letter no-T/240/15 Pt II dated 14-7-2006, proposed for eight such trains so as to facilitate the State passengers and also looking into the commercial aspects and revenue earnings from the same in different sections under the NFR zone. In this connection, the NFR authority asked for 2 DEMU trains in New Bongaigaon-Rangiya-Guwahati stretch, 2 in Nagaon-Guwahati stretch, 1 in Lumding-Guwahati, 1 in New Bongaigon-Alipurduar stretch, 1 in Goalpara-Guwahati stretch, besides 1 such train as extra on this route keeping the feasibility aspects. Even, after, six years since the communication continued from NFR authority, finally Rail Board, New Delhi approved 3 DEMU trains in the NFR zone, having jurisdiction upto parts of Bengal and Bihar.

The Railway Ministry, hearing the long urged plea , although has included to run DEMU trains under NFR jurisdictional map, has turned a blind eye and shown an apathetic attitude to the State people deciding to run the said trains under Katihar-Malda-Balurghat and Malda-New Kochbihar rail stretch.

Ironically, the said areas/rail stretches although fall under the NFR zone, but are far from the State, and the resumption of DEMU service from there in no way would facilitate or benefit our State people, ARPA secretary stated, pointing to the sheer apathy and betrayal to the State by both Indian Railways and Rail Ministry at the Centre. It further stated, citing an ironical incident when the first train (train no-14970) mistakenly reached the Changsari railway station, and immediately it was returned to Siliguri.

However, in the recently announced Union Rail Budget, no provision of DEMU trains in the State was seen. ARPA has placed its fervent pleas before the Rail Ministry to review its decision and to continue DEMU train service as originally proposed by NFR to the Rail Board covering significant stretches in the State.

Further, the State rail passenger body has urged the concerned authority to curtail some portions of North Bengal and Bihar and shift to South East Railway, and Eastern Railway having HQ in West Bengal, so as to facilitate zone wise effective service and to stop the flow of schemes/ funds meant for NFR to parts of neighbouring States of West Bengal and Bihar.